Seeing your kids radiate excitement when crafting is among the most awe-inspiring feelings. As a mommy of four, I experience that quite often, you can tell from my blog. Crafting together is fun and has a tremendous impact on any kid.
Numerous studies prove that crafting benefits children’s creativity, learning, and well-being, and I can’t help but second that. I’ve seen my kids grow immensely after our creative sessions. But it’s not always like that.
Children are small bits of energy and imagination, but they aren’t creative all the time. Nor do they always feel like crafting. Sometimes, they just want to read, do sports, or nap instead of making cards, jewelry, or puppets, and that’s understandable. The problem is that we parents often overlook the unwillingness of our kids to do creative activities. While an exhausting day at school can justify a day off from crafting, it sometimes might be more serious than that, pushing the kid away from doing creative activities. I’ve sat down with my friends, and we pondered how to help you promote crafting in kids. Here are the recommendations we’ve come to.
Providing Various Materials and Tools
First and foremost, it’s crucial to understand that pushing your children to craft and imposing activities is a huge red flag. Not only can it worsen your relationships, but it may also adversely affect kids’ openness to communicate with peers. The best way to encourage your kiddo to craft is to give them access to various materials and tools. Our family prefers paper, paper plates, yarn, and fabric, but you can also equip your children with other items. Here are just a few ideas to include in the crafting kit:
- Cardboard Rolls
- Egg Cartons
- Coffee Filters
- Craft Sticks
- Cupcake Liners
Also, encourage kids to use different textures, colors, shapes, and sizes. You can take even a step further and mix techniques, materials, and tools. For example, you can mix online and offline crafting to create original items for gifts. You can use a cool gift certificate template and create a digital design, replicate it with your child, and utilize tools at hand to add a touch of personality, like hand-made stickers, cutouts, and glitter. If that’s not creativity, what is?
Encourage Experimentation and Exploration
I hear so many crafting ideas suggested by my kids that implementing them would take an eternity, and I am happy about that! Letting your kids try different techniques, methods, and crafting styles will fuel their enthusiasm. Allow them to discover new possibilities and effects. If they want to try something you think might not work – let them do that. If it doesn’t work, help them understand what went wrong.
Overall, don’t limit them to following instructions or patterns, but allow them to improvise and invent custom ways of doing things. For instance, encourage them to make their signature combinations and include them in different works to underscore authorship.
Inspire Them With Ideas and Examples
Expanding children’s imagination is an ongoing process. I love brainstorming with my kids and generating new ideas and concepts. However, getting outside inspiration is equally pivotal to broadening children’s horizons. The best way to expand this artistry is to show children some examples of crafting projects. Doing so can spark kids’ ingenuity and interest. It’s also a foolproof way to prevent writer’s block and teach kids to manage a creative slowdown. You can find ideas and examples in magazines, books, videos, or web pages. Also, bring your kid to a craft store, fair, or museum for a more all-embracing effect.
Challenge Them With Problems and Questions
Analytical work yields outstanding results in many aspects of life, and crafting is no exception. Ask open-ended and creative questions to help children develop their thinking and problem-solving skills. Giving them problems or tasks that require crafting skills will make them utilize their knowledge and look for solutions. Ask your kids how to make a gift for a friend or distant family member or craft a design on top of an existing craft to make it more beautiful.
Support Them With Feedback and Guidance
In encouraging creativity, you can neither be too persistent nor passive. Push too hard, and you’ll reverse your kid’s interest in crafting. Neglect the activity, and your kid will give up crafting because of boredom. How do you find an equilibrium, then? Being an active observer, paying close attention to the crafts, and giving constructive and positive feedback have a long way to go. Praise your kiddo’s efforts and achievements. Rather than criticizing or judging their work, focus on what they did well and learned.
In addition, provide your children with guidance and tips when you see they are stuck, but limit your support. There is no need to give help right off the bat. Don’t do all the work for them. Instead, say, “I love your crafting technique when decorating a card. What else would you add to highlight that Christmas is coming?” Help kids develop a sense of originality and confidence by moving them to act without you saying that directly. The more individually they work and analyze, the better they value their ideas and creations that reflect their personalities, interests, and passions.
There’s so much else to add, but let me leave you with that for now. Keep in mind that encouraging crafting creativity in kids is a versatile process entailing various angles and approaches. Since every child is unique, don’t hesitate to modify these tips and use what works for you. Importantly, remember to keep that balance between over-pushing and under-pushing. After all, your kids may be interested in creative activities that fall out of crafting. And your task is to help them find what they love and develop in that direction.